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I'm using illustrator CS3 and when I save I notice too large file size for a small vector graphic.

So to test I have just created a document 512x256px 300dpi and I draw a square. I save the file and illustrator makes a 1Mb file.

Is that normal? Must I be worried.

If on save I uncheck Add ICC and create compatible PDF the size is reduced a little to 800KB. Is something wrong or is it normal? I was expecting less than 10KB file size.

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Just to test I have created same size image 512x256px but this time for the web 72dpi. The result is the filesize that way less than 150KB. This makes me think that Illustrator saves a raster version of the design and I can't see any configuration to avoid it. Can someone confirm if the reason is a raster image attached to the file? And if so, is there a way to configure illustrator so it doesn't save that raster version of the design? – user153962 Aug 22 '12 at 22:06
Try saving the illustration as an EPS format file with no thumbnail. This should be relatively small since PostScript is a vector file format (even though it's a character-based based). – martineau Aug 23 '12 at 1:10
up vote 0 down vote accepted

It does the same with me (CS6), it's normal.

I'm guessing you're making a CMYK document. Try doing the exact same thing in RGB and suddenly it's 270KB.

Also notice that if you do the exact same thing, but instead of just one square you draw multiple shapes, the size does not go up exponentially. We can then deduce that what Illustrator is doing is saving the information it needs for itself of the document (like the swatches you're using and artboard size/position), which gives it that “base” size, and then it adds the size it needs to save your shapes information.

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I'm going to just accept this answer as I wanted to confirm this was normal behaviour. And for what I read yes it has to do with a bunch of things illustrator saves with the files (swatches, ...). There is a default action that allows to remove a lot of those and the file goes from 1MiB to around 200KiB. – user153962 Aug 26 '12 at 15:39

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